Tag: BookWrap

Self-employed in publishing

This month in publishing news, it’s been all about the publisher’s best friend: the indie bookshop! The 2017 Independent Bookshop Week got well underway towards the end of June with the announcement of its annual Book Award, with winner Sebastian Barry praising the importance of independent bookshops and the culture they help to build. Publishers, too, seem to have thrown their weight behind this year’s celebrations with more gusto than usual, and the whole industry was set abuzz by hundreds of offline events and online by the lively #IBW17 hashtag.

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Self-employed in publishing

Big news from Amazon once again this month, as it hit an all-time high in the stock market and revenue from Q1 is up, prompting CEO Jeff Bezos to sell some of his stocks in the business for the largest sum yet. The tech giant’s Japanese expansion continues apace and they are widely considered to be “eating the world”, but all is not well with Amazon’s relationship with publishing. The introduction of a new buy button programme has drawn criticism from publishers and authors alike – including in the independent scene. What’s more, Amazon has this month announced and released a new book chart system, in which – perhaps unsurprisingly – their own books are notably faring better than anyone else’s.

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It’s been a happenin’ week to choose for this first BookWrap post: the trade is debating whether J.K Rowling’s New PotterMore Site Will change Digital Publishing. As a Self-Published Author Sells a Million E-Books on Amazon for the first time, authors are asking What Are The Publishers Doing for Us?

Yes, lots of questions, many of which were addressed at Tuesday’s Publishers Launch conference in London, where consensus was reached that the role of the book editor needs to change.

Still, as Kerouac Heads To the ipad and one publisher figures out  How To Run A News Site And Newspaper Using WordPress And Google Docs, dramatically cutting production costs, it’s good to see that publishing innovation abounds.


Got a story for next week’s BookWrap? Let us know.

Self-employed in publishing

This month in publishing, there has been much news from across the pond as BookExpo took place, with tweaks promised for 2018 to try to find the right balance between Expo and Con. The big books of the BookExpo show have been slightly overshadowed, however, by the continuing fuss over the size of advances being paid to American politicians for their books, including $795k for Bernie Sanders and former FBI Director James Comey is looking at a rumoured $10m bidding war.

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Self-employed in publishing

This month in publishing news, there has been an unusual obsession with the smell of books. Not only did scientists pin-point that distinctive smell of second-hand bookshops, but the Guardian discovered what you can tell about an individual book from its smell – and why the scent is so addictive.

In the bookselling sphere, Amazon once again dominated the opinions columns, as their forays into bricks and mortar bookshops continue. Plans for a second New York City bookstore, and another in Massachusetts are underway, while Seattle has been tipped as the next Amazon experiment ground.

These expansions go ahead despite the fact that bricks and mortar bookstore sales have dropped once again, and a drop in sales from some publishers, including Big 5 giant HarperCollins. The truth is, the BBC reports, that people don’t have enough time to read, though a rise in library usage by young people indicates this could be a temporary blip.

Online, the Amazon’s expansion into Australia is proving to be larger than expected but, in terms of eBook sales at least, they may soon face competition as, though Google Books continues to circle in “low orbit”, Microsoft has launched its own digital bookstore. Even so, Microsoft have their work cut out for them, as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just been named the second richest man in the world after a leap in shares that has kept investors keen, and revealed in his 2017 letter to shareholders that he has no plans for Amazon to go anywhere. What’s more, Amazon has just made it even easier for self-published authors to convert manuscripts for Kindle. Both tech giants had better watch out, though, as this experimental eBook could hail a new kind of publishing entirely!

April has hailed its fair share of author drama too, not least of which with the release of letters from Sylvia Plath, claim her husband and fellow-author Ted Hughes was guilty of domestic abuse. While Hughes’ widow says these accusations are “absurd”, others have noted that whether or not the accusations are true, they are unlikely to affect Hughes’ literary standing.  Elsewhere, Alec Baldwin has trash-talked publisher of his memoir HarperCollins over “typos and errors” he was “surprised to see.” At the other end of the scale, Trapeze author David Barnett has accused writers with unpublished manuscripts of being “quitters, not failures.”

It’s been a big month for prizes as well, with both Man Booker International and Hugo Awards shortlists being announced, amongst many others. Significantly, Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for The Underground Railroad, and Bob Dylan finally accepted his Nobel Prize for literature, months after the original ceremony.

In international news, Bologna confirmed an international rights show in New York for 2018; national financial woes hit the Nigerian book industry hard; CNN explored how book manuscripts are smuggled out of North Korea; the AAP honoured Hong Kong publisher and bookseller, Giu Minhai, who is currently imprisoned in China; and book piracy bites hard for Zimbabwean authors.

Finally, this month, the press has asked whether publishing has become too liberal. With Naomi Klein planning to battle Trump, Communism for Kids sparking a backlash from the conservatives, and “pawternity” leave granted to HarperCollins India workers adopting pets, you can see where the sentiment might come from. But when YA rising star Angie Thomas claims publishers “made the assumption that black kids don’t read”, and highlights the issues of diversity in the industry, I wonder if the question should be whether we’re liberal enough where it counts.

In arguably the week’s biggest piece of publishing news, Amazon registers KindleScribe.com and KindleScribes.com, but why? (hint: they’re probably not launching a new line of cookware). That revelation came as two equally persuasive cases were made for and against digital publishing: self-published American thriller writer Michael Prescott’s three 99-cent e-books hit the Best-Selling Books list, suggesting a healthy future for authors in the electronic age, whilst Ewan Morrison brewed a storm of controversy in Edinburgh by asking Are books dead, and can authors survive?

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The week started with outrage at the Amazon Book Depository Engulfment, and as the UK government chews it over, there was fresh food for thought as it was  suggested Changes in the publishing industry may cause whiplash.

These changes could come via a shake-up in traditional sales models: Here’s How A Subscription Service For E-books Could Work, meanwhile Concord Free Press are operating under the motto: Free Their Books and Their Minds Will Follow.

As Novelist John Green uses social media to push unfinished book to #1 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, new methods of online marketing are having an increasing influence on readers.

With that in mind, here’s How To Use Your Blog as Your Viral Online Publishing Hub.

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